TOURISM Intelligence Network in OLMCs
RDÉE Canada (Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité), the only national Francophone economic development and employability network, together with the CEDEC (Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation), and the UQAM (University of Quebec at Montreal), through the UQAM’s School of Management (ESG) Transat Chair in Tourism have teamed up to create a working consortium to establish an intelligence service for obtaining and sharing value-added information on tourism related to official language minority communities (OLMCs).
This tripartite partnership stems from an existing collaboration and provides OLMCs with critical economic development support via the tourism industry.
Selfie Museums Open in the U.S.
The United States is witnessing the birth of museums such as San Francisco’s Museum of Ice Cream, where visitors become part of the exhibition and then upload their photo to social media platforms like Instagram. In the Golden City Museum, each room has been specifically designed to help visitors snap the best photo for uploading to social networks. The exhibition is so popular that tickets for the next six months sold out in less than 90 minutes. The Color Factory and 29Rooms offer a similar experience: getting lost among 10,000 coloured ribbons, sinking into a giant yellow ball pit, wandering through 29 individually curated rooms, each one more colourful than the last, all with the same goal: to snap the craziest selfie. The Museum of Selfies opens this winter in L.A. Will this trend affect attendance at traditional museums? Is it a flash in the pan, or worth following?
Getting on a Bus to … anywhere?
To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Musée du Louvre in Lens, France, tourist offices in the four neighbouring cities have organized mystery tours to the region’s hidden treasures. The tour organizers dangled a free ride aboard a bus to anyone brave enough to head off to an unknown destination. The daring passengers were guaranteed surprises, discoveries and lots of local heritage and flavours. The tours were a great way to arouse people’s curiosity and capitalize on a major local attraction.
Source: EventBrite (In French only)
Echologia – Natur’Eau Parc: a tourism restoration project
The Echologia – Natur’Eau Park is the result of a tourism restoration project involving an abandoned village and lime quarry. There are 40 stops along a three-kilometre route where visitors can participate in fun and educational activities: they can learn about biodiversity, beekeeping, aquaponics (a system that combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics), water, ecology, local heritage and human activity. There are different types of accommodation for visitors, so they can extend their stay and take part in other activities that include riddles, treasure hunts, and obstacle courses as well as fishing and an introduction to farm life. Echologia – Natur’Eau Parc hopes to attract corporate clientele with its 500-seat meeting rooms. In December 2017, the company won one of six Palmes du tourisme durable (Sustainable Tourism Awards) in the Leisure category.
Since March 31, 2017, RVandBee has been helping caravaners and RV drivers discover Canada. Like an outdoor Airbnb, members of this online community rent part of their land to mobile home dwellers. According to the website’s founder, Daniel Picard, an Aboriginal from Wendake, Québec, the goal is to help francophones discover the wonders of Canada from sea to shining sea. Today, RVandBee is expanding outside Québec, particularly into Manitoba, where it has partnered with Joie de vivre Manitoba, the tourism arm of the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba, or CDEM). The next challenge for RVandBee will be to create a fully French-speaking network of stops across Canada.
Street Art City, an inexhaustible artistic canvas
Street Art City is an open-air urban art museum consisting of 13 concrete buildings from the 80s that were abandoned in 1993. Artists from around the world come to express their creative genius in 55 murals splashed across the 7,000-m² surface area (see video). Because of its size, Street Art City provides visitors with a truly immersive experience where they can make astonishing architectural and artistic discoveries. This new project has enabled Moulins – a municipality in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region – to revitalize the vacant lots and position itself as an urban-themed day trip and short stay destination for visitors from such major cities as Paris, Lyon, Orleans or Clermont-Ferrand.
Source: Direction générale des entreprises (In French only)
Tourisme Outaouais has created the Ambassador Kit as a fun way to let locals known about the region’s activities and attractions. The kit contains postcards, drawn by local children, of their favourite nearby attraction, a schedule of events and activities, a list of the local residents’ top things to do, the official tourist guide and a ton of practical information. The kit was given away at several regional events, with the goal of turning recipients into perfect hosts and ambassadors for the Outaouais regions. It can also still be downloaded at Tourisme Outaouais Website.
Source: Tourisme Outaouais
Creating and marketing transnational tourism routes
The European Tourism Commission (ETC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently published the Handbook on Marketing Transnational Tourism Themes and Routes. The handbook provides practical advice on creating and developing tourist routes and gives guidelines on how to develop, manage and market theme-based tourism. Section 1 defines key concepts such as experiential and theme-based tourism; Section 2 is a how-to guide to developing themed routes and covers the stages of:
- Planning; Targeting the Customer; Developing the Product: Keys to Success; Taking it to Market; Case Studies.
Click here for the complete handbook.
Source: World Tourism Organization
The New serves the Old: robots highlight heritage
- enable remote visits. The robot wheels through the museum’s collections, controlled by the distant visitor, to whom the robot relays sights and sounds by means of a screen, camera and microphone. The camera, at adult height, can zoom in to provide a closer view of objects and the microphone and speakers allow the remote visitor to interact with on-site visitors.
- provide a unique experience by allowing visitor-controlled robots to explore inaccessible places (those with fragile ecosystems, for example) or explore at night;
- offer commentary or show visitors the way.
The Club Innovation et Culture France website has several examples of French museums and monuments that are using robots. Source: New Atlas
Source: Club Innovation et Culture France (In French only)
The Société des musées du Québec partners with Kéroul
Last December, the SMQ (Société des musées du Québec) signed a partnership agreement with Kéroul, an NPO dedicated to making tourism and culture accessible to persons with restricted physical ability. The agreement’s objective is to encourage SMQ members to make their spaces more accessible to people with disabilities. To achieve this objective, Kéroul will provide discounted consulting services to SMQ that include informing member museums of the latest best practices and any financial support that might be available to improve the visitor experience. In addition, all SMQ member museums will have the opportunity to provide their employees with special training so they can better meet the needs of this growing clientele segment. The Museum Guide page of the SMQ’s website (see image above) already has a feature that lets visitors search for accessible museums by region and area of interest.
Source: Kéroul (In French only)
A café comes up with a new way to combat the labour shortage
The owners of Bistro Café Summum in La Baie, Saguenay, have decided that the best way to attract and retain their best employees is to pay the tuition fees if they decide to pursue post-secondary degrees in management or food services. This generous gesture creates a win-win situation: it helps the Québec company’s senior employees juggle the responsibilities of work and school, and reinforces their sense of belonging, thereby possibly encouraging some to stay with the company when they start looking for more senior positions.
Source: Informe Affaires (In French only)
Opening the door to returning employees
Personnel Management Consultant Stéphanie Fissette advises companies to adopt a welcoming and open attitude towards former employees who have voluntarily left to work for a competitor. These former employees represent a talent pool that should not be overlooked as they have acquired new skills that can be extremely useful should they return to the fold. Also, many so-called “boomerang employees” are apparently more loyal when they return to their former employer, hence the importance of maintaining a connection with them, through networking, special events or after-hour drinks.
Source: Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en tourisme (In French only)
This project is funded by the Government of Canada through
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